Nissan Offers Better Warranty on Leaf after Experiencing Wave of Critique

Nis­san Motor Co. will be increas­ing the war­ran­ty cov­er­age for bat­tery mod­ules in its Leaf bat­tery elec­tric vehi­cle, to reas­sure cus­tomers of their dura­bil­i­ty. Nis­san plans to noti­fy cur­rent own­ers and deal­ers ear­ly next year that it will make their war­ranties retroac­tive to cov­er all exist­ing Leafs; it will also extend to new 2013 mod­el Leafs. The automak­er will repair or replace the car’s lithi­um-ion bat­tery if it los­es more than 30% of its capac­i­ty to hold a com­plete charge after five years or 60,000 miles.

Pri­or to this, the bat­tery life hadn’t been clear­ly spelled out in the car’s over­all war­ran­ty. Leaf buy­ers were told that they could expect up to a 20% loss of charg­ing capac­i­ty after five years of dri­ving, based on nor­mal dri­ving pat­terns. Nis­san expe­ri­enced a firestorm of con­tro­ver­sy over the issue last year after sev­en Phoenix-based Leaf own­ers claimed the bat­tery capac­i­ty loss was occur­ring much faster. The inter­net was flood­ed with con­sumer con­cerns about the reli­a­bil­i­ty of the first mass mar­ket elec­tric vehi­cle ever launched. Nis­san thought it would be sell­ing 20,000 cars in 2012, but it end­ed up being only about half that in sales vol­ume. Nis­san con­tin­ues to play a lead role in EVs enter­ing glob­al mar­kets, and now it’s tied into depend­abil­i­ty and more accu­rate war­ran­ty cov­er­age.

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